John England, the former property management “golden boy” who was accused of bilking high-profile commercial property owners out of millions of dollars through an alleged “kickback” scheme, has been indicted on two federal income tax evasion charges.
The U.S. District Court indictment stems from when England, now 42, directed Southern California property management operations for Cushman & Wakefield Inc. in the late 1980s.
England was previously accused in a U.S. District Court civil suit of heading a consulting company that was paid millions of dollars in allegedly inflated fees by a handful of vendors who serviced downtown L.A.’s Broadway Plaza/MCI Center complex and other properties.
C & W; said it fired England in 1989 for alleged substance abuse problems, which England denied.
The former Beverly Hills resident now lives in Colts Neck, N.J., and hasn’t yet been arrested or served with the indictment, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Swain. An arraignment is set for March 17.
England could not be reached for comment. Santa Monica attorney Vicki Podberesky, who is representing England in the criminal matter, did not return phone calls last week.
England told the Business Journal in 1993 that he never accepted money in exchange for granting contracts at properties he oversaw.
Cushman & Wakefield officials declined to comment on the indictment.
The indictment makes no reference to the alleged kickback scheme, but states that England failed to report income “substantially in excess” of the $152,708 he reported for 1988 and the $265,307 he reported for 1989.
The indictment follows an extensive investigation by the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division.
The federal civil suit filed by C & W;’s insurer, Arkwright Insurance Co. of Waltham, charged that the Japanese owners of the Broadway Plaza/MCI Center complex had been overcharged between 1988 and 1990 under an asbestos abatement contract with Barsotti’s Inc. of Santa Fe Springs. C & W; in 1991 reimbursed the owners for $2.5 million
The suit claimed the overcharged funds were funneled into Metro Building Service Consultants Inc., a firm the suit claimed was controlled by England and his former partner Mark Apicella.
Arkwright Insurance Co. subsequently repaid C & W; for the loss and then sued England, Apicella, Barsotti’s and Barsotti’s’ former owner, Scott Barsotti.
The suit was dismissed in 1993 after Barsotti’s and Scott Barsotti agreed to give Arkwright $1.4 million. England and Apicella had sought U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection, and Arkwright hasn’t collected on its claims against them, according to the company’s attorney, Michael Stern.